IEEE ComSoc International Communications Quality and Reliability Workshop
14-17 May 2018 – Austin, Texas, USA


Executive Panel – The Transformation to 5G
Chair: Kelly Krick, Ericsson

Abstract – 5G is expected to deliver many capabilities – less latency, more throughput, improved connection density, spectrum efficiency, more traffic capacity, and better network efficiency. These capabilities enable next generation solutions for Smart Cities, Connected Cars, Industrial Controls, Healthcare, Virtual Reality, etc.

The panel will focus on the changes to the network required to deliver these solutions. The members will address the technologies and how we are going to integrate capabilities from cloud and virtualization in the transformation to make 5G work.

Speakers include

  • David Lu, AT&T Services VP – D2 Platform and Systems Development
  • Abby Knowles, Verizon Wireless Executive Director – Midwest Operations
  • Kevin Shatzkamer, Dell EMC VP – Service Provider Solutions and Strategy


Operations Panel –  Challenges for Network Providers during Transitional Periods
Chair: Mike Dazio,  CEO – ZT Technology Solutions

Abstract – As telecom operators around the world continue to upgrade/transition their network technologies to improve performance and increase capacity, many of them are confronted with the challenge of maintaining multiple generations of technologies and networks.  Many wireless operators continue to operate second generation (2G) and third generation (3G) networks while deploying fourth generation (4G) technology and eventually fifth generation (5G).   Similarly, wireline operators continue to maintain copper access while overlaying fiber to reach customers.  Concurrently, telecom operators are divesting assets, such as cell towers and landlines, as well as actively participating in mergers and acquisitions to increase scale, increase scope and diversity of services, and customer footprint. 

Driven by market complexity and competition, financial dynamics, and rapid acceleration of network technologies, telecom operators’ face transition issues in Network Integration (due to M&A activities), Network Migration/Modernization/Virtualization/Transformation (due to newer technologies e.g. NFV/SDN, Fiber, 5G, etc.), Network Decommissioning (older telecom technologies), and Regulatory concerns.

This panel will present and discuss these issues and the impact on their respective companies and the industry.  The discussions will focus on solutions and recommendations to minimize the operational/service impact during these transitional periods.

Speakers include

  • Mike Romano, NTCA Sr. Vice President – Industry Relations and Business Development
  • Kathy Meier-Hellstern, AT&T Research Assistant Vice President – Optimization, Reliability & Customer Analysis
  • Tod Brinkerhoff, Tellabs Access Director of Sales Engineering
  • Jude Ognibene, Verizon Services Operations Manager – Maintenance Contract Management
  • Al Errico, Fujitsu Network Communications Principal Engagement Leader for Network Modernization


Emerging Technologies Panel – Real Time Networks for Real Time Applications
Chair: Carol Davids, Illinois Institute of Technology

Abstract – Today almost all of commerce, politics, social life and communication take place on IP networks.  More and more demands are placed on these networks, on the operators who maintain and grow them, and on the application developers and service providers whose products use their transport: The networks must be always available; the services and applications that use their transport must be secure and reliable; methods for isolating and correcting trouble must be developed.  Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) are two technologies that attempt to address the need for agility, efficiency, maintainability and integrity that our IP networks must provide.

Software Defined Networks are expected to improve the ability to trouble shoot networks; to dynamically create and allocated resources to key applications and services based on policy as well as demand; to allow the use of WAN technology instead of the more costly MPLS; and to deploy new systems and applications rapidly and efficiently.   Network Function Virtualization is expected to reduce the cost that the operator must assume for the routers and switches and middle ware that comprise their networks.

While these two technologies seek to make networks more efficient and agile, their introduction has the potential to disrupt business relations as well as applications and services:  The vendors of purpose-built hardware must deal with the operator’s wish for software replacements for their products;  Real time media applications that use offer/answer methods may find their media flows disrupted if virtual NATS or Firewalls are dynamically introduced in the middle of one of their sessions.

This panel will explore some of the potential for disruption as well as for harmony that SDN/NFV represent.  These complementary technologies will be discussed from the perspective of the network operator, the enterprise, the developer and the standards body. 

Speakers include

  • Jose de Francisco Lopez, Nokia Design Director – Human Factors Engineering
  • Hank Preston, Cisco Systems Network, Data Center and Cloud Evangelist
  • Mike Pepe, AT&T Assistant Vice President – Systems
  • Monica Paolini, Senzi Fili Consulting